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Like most of us, one of your New Year’s resolutions is likely to up your fitness game. It’s a good goal, to be sure, but one of the hardest challenges is staying motivated along the way. Getting healthier takes time, and part of staying motivated means setting realistic goals for ourselves.
Here are a few tips for staying motivated and achieving your fitness goals for 2023.
S.M.A.R.T. is the tried and true acronym for getting started on your fitness journey in a realistic and achievable way. S.M.A.R.T. stands for the following: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. What does that mean? It means setting specific goals you can track, goals that are realistic while also being relevant to your lifestyle, and creating deadlines that are achievable for you and your world.
When going into 2023, write down what your fitness goals are. Be as specific as you can! Make sure they’re goals you can measure along the way, whether it’s weight loss or bulking up. Be realistic in how attainable these goals are, meaning, don’t expect to lose 20 pounds in one week, or be able to bench press 100 pounds after just a few short sessions. Ask yourself why you want to accomplish the goals you’ve set out for yourself—how are they relevant to your life, or the life you want to have?—and don’t forget to set realistic deadlines, including rewarding yourself along the way for hitting certain milestones.
Maybe your long-term goal is to gain 50 pounds in muscle, and that’s great! But our fitness goals don’t happen overnight, causing us to get discouraged and lose motivation along the way. That’s why it’s important to set micro goals, smaller achievements we can accomplish weekly or even daily.
Setting an intention at the beginning of each day can help you along this path: I will start the day with a protein shake, I will drink two glasses of water by noon, I will remember to snack between meals. Fitness goals are hard because the satisfaction isn’t immediate, but with micro goals, we can accomplish several things by the end of our day, keeping us motivated for that long-term goal we’re after.
Part of staying motivated is creating an environment for yourself in which your success is inevitable. For example, a good trick for keeping yourself accountable is working out with someone who is also working toward a fitness goal, preferably one similar to your own. If you struggle with staying motivated, find a friend whose motivation is higher than yours. This is no bad thing! Your friend will get you up and to the gym even on those days when our goals feel out of reach (which, of course, they never really are).
Speaking of which, make sure to pick a gym that suits your needs. If you choose a gym and don’t like it, it will be even harder to keep yourself motivated. Part of setting realistic goals for ourselves also means setting ourselves up for success, so choose a gym that will keep you engaged and excited—one with personal trainers and group classes—as you work on your goals through 2023.
An easy way to lose motivation is when our routine becomes stagnant. Yes, making our workouts part of our daily routine is important, but if it’s the same workout repeatedly, we’re likely to lose motivation through boredom alone. In order to stick with your fitness goals for 2023, try incorporating different workouts into your routine. Having a new workout of the week will help you stick to your goals in a realistic way while keeping you engaged, interested, and excited on your path to a healthier you.
So get out there, get going, and don’t stop until you’ve reached your desired goal. Don’t worry, you got this!
Looking for a gym in the Chicago metropolitan area? Look no further than Chicago Athletic Clubs. Our committed and encouraging community is here to help you achieve all your New Year’s fitness goals.